Inside the Fashion Industry and the latest winter trends with ‘aami’.
Where did the brand ‘aami’ originate from?
I have always loved well tailored and well fitted clothing! (gushes Vuyo Keke the founder of aami). I believe that a person’s clothes should sit so well that it looks like they were made especially for them. Most armies around the world wear well tailored suits and because of that I have always been inspired by military wear, hence my label aami – which is pronounced ‘army’.
Who is the aami consumer?
The aami consumer is someone who appreciates well fitting and good quality clothes. Someone who believes that fashion is timeless and that a well made garment can be inherited and passed down to the next generation. An aami woman is not afraid to be in charge while being stylish, she knows how to express herself and dresses well for her body. She doesn’t walk, she glides!
What does it mean to be an entrepreneur and a fashion designer living in Johannesburg in 2018?
There is no better time than now to be a fashion entrepreneur in Johannesburg. More and more consumers are becoming more conscious of what they are buying, where it was made and how it was made. It is inspiring to live here and create art because our city is so rich with culture and people embrace their individuality seamlessly. Street fashion is in the centre of the fashion industry, it has no rules and is expressive without the need to wear labels. As a designer, as long as you are making clothes that are informed, fit well and are of a great quality – people will buy your product.
What are some of the challenges that come with establishing your own brand?
The biggest challenge is being a young, black entrepreneur who was previously disadvantaged and therefore lack the financial backing and resources to get your brand off the ground. Once you overcome that challenge and find ways to invest in yourself and your brand, people are very open and receptive to new work.
How do aami designs relate to our social and political climate right now?
The fashion industry is flooded with imports that are very cheap, it is killing the industry but as aami, we strive to produce all our garments locally. We are currently sourcing all our fabric locally and finding a way to produce and sell garments at an affordable price so that we can be able to compete with the likes of Zara, H&M etc. I believe in women who put no limits on their capabilities, the aami brand is for people who are fierce, who wake up and want to make a difference and that is reflective in every aami garment. South African brands know how to make clothes that sit well on South African people, it is important for us to shop and support local.
What are some fashion tips for winter?
This winter seems like it will be brutal, so the statement garment for all of us to own is a classic trench coat. Ways to dress up your trench coat: adding a leather belt will bring out the shape of your waist. You can also dress up your trench by adding a bright little chiffon scarf around your neck. Adding a brooch also gives the trench a bit of character and elegance. Have fun with it!
Is aami seasonal? If so, where can consumers get intouch for the latest items?
Aami is seasonal, we have two seasons a year; summer and winter. Our winter range is available online now on https://hellopretty.co.za , @aamistyle on IG and Facebook. Our DMs are open for orders and queries plus our email and number is in the bio. There is also an exciting new collaboration coming up later in the year with a local graphic designer, look out for that on all our social media pages!
By: Sizi Keke (Content Producer)
Follow on Twitter: @sizinspired